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Baked Potato Soup

Contributed by: NAPSA

Tips On Making Big Meals Less Stressful

Baked Potato Soup
(NAPSA) - Whether it's an impromptu gathering of family or friends, or a planned special occasion, preparing a big meal can be a stressful experience. But a few simple tips can help you enjoy your next entertaining meal as much as your guests will.

The first step to creating a less stressful meal for large numbers is to shop smartly, says Jenny Harper, director of recipe development for Carnation Evaporated Milk. She advises stocking your pantry with convenient, easy-to-store items that you can turn to in a pinch, like evaporated milk, dried pasta and chicken broth.

Here are some other top tips to create a satisfying meal that you will enjoy as much as everyone else.

  • Choose appropriate recipes for your skill level and your guests. Don't get caught up making an elaborate dish that people may not appreciate.

  • Consider a buffet; it makes serving a lot of people easier and requires less work to set the tables.

  • Don't be afraid to serve ready-made foods for the side dishes, like instant mashed potatoes. Not all your dishes need to be made from scratch.

  • Put friends and family to work for you. Most parties end up in the kitchen anyway, so put those extras hands to good use!
To impress the guests without much stress, here is a recipe you can try at your next meal for a large group. See also Cheesy Creamy Pasta Casserole.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ,li>1 can (141/2 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 2 large or 3 medium baking potatoes, baked or microwaved
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. sliced green onion

Directions:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in broth and evaporated milk. Scoop potato pulp from one potato; mash. Add pulp to broth mixture.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a boil. Dice remaining potato skin and potato(es); add to soup. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with bacon, cheese and green onion.


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